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The Shocking Donors Behind a Pro-Trump Nonprofit

Donald Trump is receiving support from the rich backers of liberal causes.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A pro–Donald Trump nonprofit organization accidentally revealed its top donors. It turns out two of them usually back liberal causes.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of the 2022 tax statement for the nonprofit American Compass, which is linked to a plan to assemble Trump’s Cabinet for a potential second term. The document includes a list of five donor organizations.

Two of the donors are the Omidyar Network Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Omidyar has donated a total of $500,000 to American Compass since 2020, according to the foundation’s website.

Hewlett has contributed more than one-third of American Compass’s total public support. Hewlett has donated $1,486,000 to American Compass since 2020, including a tranche of $475,000 just in January.

The two organizations’ support for American Compass stands in stark contrast to the causes that they normally back. Pierre Omidyar has donated considerably to Democratic dark money groups and to fighting racism. He also provided the initial funding for the news outlet The Intercept in 2014; Omidyar’s First Look Media continued to fund the organization until it was spun off as a nonprofit earlier this year.

Hewlett has donated to global groups that fight for women’s rights, environmental reform, and the arts. Hewlett is also a longtime supporter of NPR.*

It’s unclear what Hewlett and Omidyar are doing by backing groups that are so ideologically disparate. But their support is dangerous: American Compass is part of a movement propelled by younger Republicans seeking to make Trumpism align with traditional, small-government conservatism.

American Compass is also part of the right-wing think tank Project 2025. Project 2025, one of the drivers behind the growing setup for a second Trump term, is itself a part of the Heritage Foundation. The far-right Heritage Foundation has allied itself closely with Trump and helped shape much of his policy while in office.

Some of Project 2025’s backers include former Trump advisers Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, both of whom are known for their xenophobic and white supremacist beliefs.

* This article originally misstated the amount of funding the organization provided to American Compass as compared to similar contributions made to other liberal organizations.

The Surprising Figure Some Democrats Think Can Save Joe Biden

Hint: It’s someone who thinks he belongs in prison.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

In a bid to save President Joe Biden in the polls, Democrats are turning to a novel, counterintuitive solution: more Donald Trump.

Trump has seemed relatively quiet in the race for the White House. Recently returned to X, formerly known as Twitter, his posts do not receive the torrent of media attention that they did before the January 6 insurrection. Similarly, Trump’s speeches and rallies have received muted attention over the last three years.

Despite this lackluster media presence, he has blown every other GOP candidate out of the water, pulling numbers that nearly quintuple those of his second-place opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to composite polling by FiveThirtyEight.

A quieter Trump also seems to be doing better than a vocal and present Biden, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris survey published Monday, which found that the Republican front-runner’s numbers are eclipsing the incumbent president’s, with Trump polling at 48 percent compared to Biden’s 41 percent.

Biden’s own actions have damaged his favorability in recent months. His foreign policy failures and firm stance behind Israel in its conflict against Hamas have severely affected his approval ratings, particularly with minority voters. A joint poll released in early November by The New York Times and Siena College found that support for the U.S. leader had fallen sharply among Black and Hispanic voters. Young voters have also bemoaned Biden’s inability to follow through with campaign promises for mass student loan cancellation, which saw its initial demise at the hands of an ultraconservative U.S. Supreme Court in June.

The solution? Reverse course on a party maxim to oust Trump from the public consciousness, according to Democratic leadership, who no longer feel that ignoring the real estate mogul is an effective tactic and instead are quietly hoping for live broadcasting of his notorious campaign rallies, reported The New York Times.

“Not having the day-to-day chaos of Donald Trump in people’s faces certainly has an impact on how people are measuring the urgency of the danger of another Trump administration,” Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, an African American political organizing group, told the Times. “It is important to remind people of what a total and absolute disaster Trump was.”

It’s a surprising about-face. From Trump’s descent down the escalator in June 2015 until January 6, 2021, the consensus among mainstream Democrats was that the media was far too beholden to Donald Trump and that, in the cynical pursuit of eyeballs and profits, they essentially allowed him to act as their assignment editor. The notion that the press was “complicit” in Trump’s rise was widely held during this period, as was the idea that the nation would wake up if they covered him as a dictator in training. The press’s coverage of Trump has become more disciplined and aggressive—when it happens—in the aftermath of January 6. But it hasn’t dimmed Trump’s popularity. Now the hope is that more coverage of Trump’s derangement will damage his candidacy.

Rudy Giuliani Is So Broke His Accountants Are Suing Him

The former New York City mayor is so broke his accountants are suing him.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Rudy Giuliani being normal in 2020.

Rudy Giuliani, who is already going broke, has been sued again by the accounting firm he hired to get him through his most recent divorce.

Giuliani hired BST & Co. CPAs, which is based in upstate New York, in 2018 to value his business assets during his divorce from Judith Nathan. The firm filed a lawsuit on Monday stating that Giuliani never paid them the $10,000 retainer they agreed on. BST is also seeking $15,000 in legal fees.

BST sent multiple letters to Giuliani over the past five years requesting that he pay up, according to the lawsuit. Giuliani allegedly ignored every single one.

The BST lawsuit is just the latest accusing Giuliani of failing to pay his debts—and he could be on the hook for much, much more money. Several of Giuliani’s former lawyers, including his longtime attorney Robert Costello, have sued Giuliani for failing to pay their legal fees.

Giuliani has begun representing himself in court to save some cash. The man once affectionately known as “America’s mayor” is scrambling to find the money for all his legal fees and even listed his Manhattan apartment for sale in July. In August, after he was indicted in Georgia, Giuliani asked his social media followers to donate to his defense fund.

He also flew to Mar-a-Lago to beg his boss Donald Trump to pay him for working as Trump’s personal attorney. That didn’t work, but Trump did agree to host a fundraiser dinner for Giuliani. Entry cost $100,000 a plate, but Giuliani paid Costello just $10,000 in September.

In addition to the racketeering charges in Georgia, Giuliani was ordered to pay more than $130,000 to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. The two women served as 2020 election workers in Georgia, and Giuliani falsely accused them for months of fraud. Freeman and Moss are also seeking between $15.5 million and $43 million from Giuliani for alleged defamation.

Meanwhile, Nathan says Giuliani owes her more than $260,000 for her country club memberships, condominium fees, and health care as part of their divorce settlement. Giuliani narrowly avoided jail time over that lawsuit in December. And one of Giuliani’s former associates sued him in May, accusing him of promising to pay her a $1 million annual salary but instead raping and sexually abusing her over two years.

The Big, Obvious Reason Why Elon Musk’s Anti-Media Lawsuit Will Backfire

Musk's lawsuit against Media Matters could reveal embarrassing secrets about the company's handling of far-right content.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s defamation lawsuit against Media Matters is shaping up to be one of the worst business decisions the Tesla founder has made in a while—which is a kind of accomplishment, given his disastrous time at Twitter/X.

In the three days since Musk filed the suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas, legal experts have openly dismissed the legal challenge as an effort to silence the press as well as criticism of Musk’s behavior and acumen. But few have completely shirked the pressure of the suit more than the man on the receiving end of it, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Carusone said that if the lawsuit doesn’t get dismissed, the media watchdog will pursue discovery, the wide-ranging legal process by which evidence and information is shared between prosecution and defense and, by way of being utilized in court, could become public record—or fodder for another Media Matters report.

Carusone said if it comes to that, Media Matters would seek communications regarding whether executives at the social media company “knew internally” about the failed safeguards against placing major brand advertisements back-to-back with white supremacist, pro-Nazi content. Carusone also told the Post that they would be seeking other internal communications regarding Musk’s overt antisemitism on the platform.

Media Matters’s investigation revealed that X, formerly known as Twitter, was placing ads from reputable companies alongside antisemitic, pro-Nazi posts. The ensuing fallout resulted in the hemorrhaging of some of X’s biggest and markedly safe advertisers, such as Apple, IBM, Disney, Lionsgate, and Paramount.

X claimed that the watchdog’s report was an inaccurate representation of their algorithm, arguing that Media Matters had artificially manipulated the report’s results by following just 30 accounts on the platform and refreshing pages at a higher rate than average. Yet Carusone said that wasn’t the point of the investigation—instead, Media Matters proved that X-touted safeguards meant to prevent this from happening either don’t exist or are completely ineffective.

“The point that we’ve been making is that the filters that they say exist are not working the way that they claim,” Carusone told the Post. “Ads can and do run alongside extremist content.”

The Grotesque Reason Why Some Biden Officials Don’t Want a Cease-fire

Some in the administration are worried that a pause in the fighting will allow journalists to show just how devastating Israel's campaign against Gaza has been.

Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty

A temporary cease-fire has gone into effect in Gaza, halting the bombing that has gone on for more than a month. Qatar, which brokered negotiations, announced Wednesday that fighting will cease for four days. Hamas will release 50 hostages, and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners. All released prisoners will be women and minors.

Administration officials are feeling tentatively vindicated over the cease-fire deal, Politico reported Wednesday. The White House is taking it as a sign that Joe Biden’s strategy is working, although one official, speaking anonymously, acknowledged that there’s still “more to do.”

But the White House now has another issue on its hands. “There was some concern in the administration about an unintended consequence of the pause: that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel,” according to the Politico report.

At least 11,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s retaliation to the October 7 Hamas attack. Health officials in Gaza said Tuesday that they are no longer able to get an accurate death toll because of the ongoing Israeli attacks.

The fighting has also killed at least 53 journalists and media workers. But now that fighting will pause, more journalists can enter Gaza and show the full extent of destruction, which the administration has so far seemed content to ignore.

The majority of U.S. citizens back a cease-fire, and support has slowly but steadily grown among Democratic members of Congress. Biden, however, has until now resisted calling for an all-out cease-fire, even telling reporters two weeks ago that there was “no possibility” of one. His resistance to a cease-fire has contributed to a major disconnect between Biden and younger voters.

Matt Gaetz’s Constituents Hate Him

Florida voters really, really do not like the controversial Republican representative.

close-up of Matt Gaetz smiling with blue background (looks a bit like a creepy yearbook photo)
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Matt Gaetz.

Even Floridians don’t like Matt Gaetz.

A mere 21 percent of Floridians responded that they approve of the man they elected to congress while another 57 percent said they flat out disapprove of the job Gaetz has done since being elected, according to a Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab survey. That’s a far cry from Gaetz’s results in the 2022 election, when he swept Florida’s 1st Congressional District by a margin of 35 percentage points.

The poll comes on the heels of several weeks of high drama sparked and stoked by the far-right congressman, in which he led a charge to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for daring to coordinate a bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown. Since then, Gaetz has worked to aggressively divide and strong-arm the caucus alongside a minority cohort of conservative colleagues.

All that time in the limelight drew more attention to some of Gaetz’s other scandals, including the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misuse of funds by the congressman.

In February, the Justice Department concluded its own investigation into Gaetz, opting against criminal charges relating to allegations of sex trafficking and sex with a minor, determining that they couldn’t bring a strong enough case to court.

“I am the most investigated man in the United States Congress,” Gaetz said during an October ethics inquiry

Despite all the bad press, Gaetz has trudged ahead, with rumors swirling that the controversial politician may run to unseat Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during the 2026 gubernatorial election. Gaetz has since snubbed the report as “overblown clickbait,” clarifying that his singular focus is getting Donald Trump elected to a second term in the White House.

Failing the longshot bid, Gaetz may be pushed out of politics altogether if he falls short on gathering the numbers to keep his current seat.

“The poll was not great for the congressman, but it’s early and these assessments can change,” Kevin Wagner, a pollster and political science professor at FAU, told Newsweek. “Even people that disapprove can still vote for him if they like the other choices less.”

Nikki Haley Is Driving Ron DeSantis’s Team Insane

The Florida governor’s aides are turning on one another as his support in the GOP primary decreases.

Jim Vondruska/Getty Images
Ron DeSantis looking at Nikki Haley last week, probably wondering where it all went wrong

Ron DeSantis’s team can’t decide how to respond to Nikki Haley’s growing success in the presidential race. The infighting is so bad that some advisers are turning on each other.

Two leaders of DeSantis’s Never Back Down super PAC nearly got into a fistfight during a private meeting last week to discuss how to push back on Haley, NBC News reported Tuesday.

“You have a stick up your ass,” Never Back Down’s top consultant, Jeff Roe, told fellow board member Scott Wagner, according to an anonymous source who was in the room.

“Why don’t you come over here and get it?” demanded Wagner, a longtime DeSantis adviser. He had to be restrained by two other board members.

After the meeting, three close DeSantis allies launched a second super PAC for the Florida governor called Fight Right Inc. The move was partly urged by DeSantis and his wife, Casey, who are growing increasingly frustrated with Never Back Down’s leadership team, NBC reported.

DeSantis was once lauded as the natural successor to Donald Trump, but his campaign has failed to launch. When Haley first announced her candidacy, her support was in the single digits. She was far behind DeSantis, and even further behind front-runner Donald Trump.

But a Monmouth University poll released last week showed that Haley has surpassed DeSantis and now boasts a sizable lead over the Florida governor—even though she still trails the former president by a significant distance. Trump is still comfortably in first place with 46 percent support. But Haley has taken second place with 18 percent. DeSantis, meanwhile, trailed behind at a paltry 7 percent.

DeSantis’s major donors have grown frustrated with his lack of momentum, and one of his biggest former backers is considering switching to team Haley. Billionaire Ken Griffin, a Republican megadonor, told Bloomberg last week that he is “actively contemplating” donating to Haley’s campaign.

Griffin was DeSantis’s biggest donor during the 2022 election, giving $5 million to his gubernatorial reelection campaign. Griffin also repeatedly said he would “love” to see DeSantis run for president in 2024. But Griffin changed his mind in September, withdrawing his support from DeSantis in part due to the governor’s weird feud with Disney.

Is Vivek Ramaswamy Actually Running for President?

No one likes the annoying self-made millionaire. With two months to go until voters hit the polls, it doesn’t seem like he’s trying to change anyone’s mind.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Vivek Ramaswamy trying to win voters in Iowa by rapping at them.

Biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy seems to be making all the wrong moves on his Iowa tour, raising the question—is the GOP presidential candidate even trying to win?

With the January 15 Iowa caucuses around the corner, Ramaswamy is still trailing behind his Republican opponents, failing to curry favor with new audiences or differentiate himself enough from Trump, in a way that has relegated him to mid-to-high single-digit percentage points.

“If viability were the reason to stay in a race, he’s long since left that behind,” David Kochel, a Republican strategist, told the Associated Press. “If you like Vivek Ramaswamy and what he is saying in this campaign, you already have a candidate, and his name is Donald Trump.”

Ramaswamy’s tactics in the battleground state are questionably counterintuitive for someone actually trying to get his foot in the White House.

On Monday, Ramaswamy nearly begged a diner full of Iowa voters to ask him about his controversial and baseless foreign policy positions, which rival Nikki Haley slammed as Putin-centric during the last GOP debate. “Putin and President Xi are salivating at the thought that someone like that could become president,” Haley said.

Still, one voter took Ramaswamy up on it. “My foreign policy is clear: Stay out of World War III; declare economic independence from Communist China,” Ramaswamy responded.

Yet there may be more to the entrepreneur’s failures in the battleground state than just his eyebrow-raising policy positions. In fact, Ramaswamy’s campaign has spent just a fraction of its marketing budget, booking only $162,000 worth of ads compared to the $8 million it said it would earlier this month, according to data from the media tracking firm AdImpact.

That’s a far cry from the amount invested by the other Republican presidential candidates. So far, Haley and her allied super PAC have spent nearly $3.5 million on advertising while DeSantis and his allies have spent more than $3.3 million, reported the AP.

Donald Trump Is Laying a Trap for the Gag Order Judge

The presidential candidate and arraignment enthusiast has figured out a way to win, no matter the result of his gag order appeal.


It appears that Donald Trump has crafted a win-win situation for himself out of the gag order in his federal election subversion trial.

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals indicated that it may pare back the October 17 gag order preventing the former president and his team from talking smack about court staff, the prosecution, and any potential witnesses as he runs for a second term in the White House. Still, the panel noted, Trump is not above the law and should be restricted from engaging in witness intimidation. 

“There’s a balance that has to be undertaken here, and it’s a very difficult balance,” said Judge Patricia Millett, who ruled on the appeal, according to The Washington Post.  “We’ve got to use a careful scalpel here and not step into really sort of skewing the political arena, don’t we?”

But either way that the panel rules, Trump will likely come out on top. If Trump wins the appeal, he’ll have an open floor to vilify special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the prosecution behind two of Trump’s criminal trials. Previously, Trump has lambasted Smith as a “lunatic” and referred to his staff as “thugs.”

However, if Trump loses the appeal, it will effectively add a new weapon to his arsenal on the campaign trail, the claim that the state is preventing him from running for president again. As CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote, this is part of the former president’s larger assault on American institutions. “It’s hard to see how the legal system escapes the fate of other institutions of accountability whose images have been tarnished after seeking to contain or expose the ex-president’s unique brand of rule breaking,” Collinson argued. 

Trump’s legal team has argued that restricting his speech in any matter is an unconstitutional assault to his freedom of political speech, but that may not fly with the judge’s panel, which is responsible for the scope of rights permitted to a criminal defendant, especially one accused of thwarting the 2020 election, reported CNN.

Meanwhile, the original gag order, issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, never prevented Trump from attacking his opponents on the campaign trail. Instead, it explicitly permitted the former president to assail any of his formal political rivals, from President Joe Biden to former Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump has been charged with four felonies related to his efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election results. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Sinister Reason Why Florida Republicans Are Attacking Democracy

They want to ensure that voters can’t enshrine legal access to abortions in the state constitution.

Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis posing with a 15-week abortion ban he signed last year

Florida Republicans have introduced a bill to make it even harder to pass ballot initiatives, ahead of a crucial vote for abortion access in the state.

State Representative Rick Roth quietly introduced a measure in early November to raise the threshold for ballot initiatives to 66.7 percent of votes. Florida already requires 60 percent of voters to support amending the state constitution, meaning the minority rules the Sunshine State. But Roth’s bill would make it even harder to ratify amendments.

Roth and his fellow Republicans argue that the new threshold is necessary to ensure “broader public support” for amendments. But what’s more likely is that they want to ensure certain issues never succeed at the ballot box.

One such issue is abortion access. Florida’s 15-week abortion ban went before the state Supreme Court in September. If the court upholds the law, then an even more restrictive measure banning abortion at six weeks—before most people know they are pregnant—will go into effect. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the hugely unpopular bill in April.

The pro-abortion group Floridians Protecting Freedom is working to get an abortion rights referendum on the state’s 2024 ballot. The group has collected a little more than half the signatures necessary to get on the ballot, but it already has enough for the state Supreme Court to review the amendment for a potential vote.

If it succeeds, then abortion protections would likely be enshrined in the state constitution, overriding any laws the legislature has passed. A February study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 64 percent of Floridians believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases—more than enough to defeat the state’s 60 percent minimum.

Hence the Republican need for Roth’s bill to raise the minimum to 67 percent. Roth introduced a similar measure last year that easily passed the state House, but it failed in the Senate.

Republicans are panicking about their ability to block abortion, and it’s no secret why. Every time an abortion-related measure is on a ballot, voters consistently choose to increase protections for the procedure, even in otherwise red states.

Most recently, Ohio voters chose overwhelmingly to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. The November ballot initiative came just a few months after Ohioans handily defeated a Republican attempt to raise the ballot initiative threshold to 60 percent.